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Exciting New Project: Izzy’s Daily Bucket For Children With Cancer by Medical University of South Carolina Student

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Exciting New Project: ‘Izzy’s daily Bucket’ For Children With Cancer by Medical University of South Carolina Student

CHARLESTON, S.C. — An inventive project, called Izzy’s Daily Bucket, designed for children aged 6-12 battling with cancer, is proving to be significantly beneficial. In an unexpected move, a coloring book alongside a whiteboard are proving to be powerful tools in transforming lives.

Occupational Therapy Student’s Capstone Project Uplifts Children With Cancer

Maddie Gies, a third-year Occupational Therapy student at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), developed Izzy’s Daily Bucket as part of her capstone project. Gies noted, “For children with cancer, caregivers and healthcare providers often far underestimate the child’s actual fatigue levels.”

Gies observed that despite being the second most common symptom and side effect of cancer treatments, cancer-related fatigue remains the least addressed issue by healthcare providers. This led her to identify a need, and spurred her to develop a solution — the Izzy’s Daily Bucket coloring book.

Gies’ Project: An informative and Engaging Resource for Managing Cancer-Related Fatigue

Gies’ coloring workbook, Izzy’s Daily Bucket, narrates the story of a little girl named Izzy from before her cancer diagnosis, through her treatment journey. “It’s about how Izzy’s energy bucket filed with ‘energy coins’ gets depleted throughout the day,” explains Gies.

The book features guiding questions for the children to answer. It also includes handouts for parents about cancer-related fatigue and sleep hygiene. The workbook becomes a helpful tool to communicate with children about their health, and empower them to plan their day in a time when they may feel they have little control over their life.

Gies’ Personal Connection to the Cancer Fatigue Topic

Gies’ commitment to the project drew not only from her passion for occupational therapy, but also her personal experiences. During high school, her family hosted a family friend diagnosed with cancer. The firsthand exposure to the impact of cancer on a person and family dynamics greatly influenced her pursuit to create a tool to help manage cancer fatigue, especially amongst children.

Reception and Future Outlook of Izzy’s Daily Bucket Project

Gies’ mentors, Caitlin Keller and Dr. Katie Schmitt, expressed their pride and satisfaction from the early reactions to the workbook. They noted the immense potential of Izzy’s Daily Bucket; highlighting its ability to aid in broaching the topic of cancer fatigue and providing a much-needed resource for children experiencing it.

Having witnessed the positive impact of the book on their initial patients, the mentors also evoked ideas of extending this concept for adults and different cancer types in future iterations, to provide a broader outreach.

The Relevance and Importance of Occupied Therapy in Managing Cancer Fatigue

Gies’ invention is tangible evidence of occupational therapy’s fruitfulness in managing cancer fatigue. It serves as a beacon of hope for affected families and acts as an enriching tool for healthcare providers. Through her clever use of simple resources like a coloring book and a whiteboard, Gies has made tremendous strides in assisting children battling with cancer.

Gies harbors hope that her initiative can help children gain insight and facilitate self-expression to their parents. Furthermore, she believes it is a crucial tool that can educate families and healthcare providers about the signs and ways to cope with cancer-related fatigue and stresses the need for occupational therapy consultation when a child shows fatigue-experiencing signs.

Exciting New Project: Izzy's Daily Bucket For Children With Cancer by Medical University of South Carolina Student

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